The surname of VALENTI was derived from the Latin Valentinus - a name meaning 'one who was strong and healthy'. It was the name of a 3rd century Roman Saint and Martyr whose chief claim to fame is that his feast day falls on the 14th February, the date of the traditional celebration of spring going back to the Roman fertility festival of Juno Februata. A 5th century missionary bishop of Rhaetia of this name was venerated especially in Southern Germany, being invoked as a patron against gout and epilepsy. The name arrived from Europe, and has been in England since the 12th century. A family of this name went to Ireland in the 17th century and has since become numerous in County Wicklow and the adjoining counties. Early records of the name mention Valentinus (without surname) 1198 County Wiltshire. William Valentini, was documented in 1260 in Canterbury, Kent. Matilda Valentyn 1265 Huntingdonshire. Edward Valentine of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The name was taken early to Scotland by settlers and the Valentines of Fettercain are said to be descended from Valentine of Thornton, who in the reign of Robert I had a charter of the lands of Thorntoun. William Valentine was granted a safe conduct to travel into England in 1424, and John Wallentyne was burgess of Aberdeen in 1593. The use of fixed surnames or descriptive names appears to have commenced in France about the year 1000, and such names were introduced into Scotland through the Normans a little over one hundred years later, although the custom of using them was by no means common for many years afterwards. During the reign of Malcolm Ceannmor (1057-1093) the latter directed his chief subjects, after the custom of other nations, to adopt surnames from their territorial possessions, and there created 'The first erlis that euir was in Scotland'. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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